ATLANTA – It took several tries, but the Georgia Department of Transportation may have finally neutralized a tire busting storm drain.
At the Home Grown Georgia restaurant, Jeremy Ray has seen joy turn to despair when drain meets tire at the corner of Memorial Drive and Gibson Street.
“We see it two or three times a month,” says Ray. “Too often.
It happened to Sarah Heurich. While making the turn from Gibson Street to Memorial Drive in her back, right tire clipped the notorious storm drain.
“There's no way to make a tight turn and not hit it,” says Heurich. “When I saw the flat tire, I knew that's where it came from.”
It's happened to several of her neighbors.
When traffic is heavy, drivers have to make a tight right from Gibson to fit into the far right lane of Memorial. Google maps shows damage to the drain back in 2015. More than once. GDOT crews have made repairs. More than once, drivers have limped away with flats.
“We thought we had a good solution,” says GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale. “We've moved from one problem to another.”
Crews placed a metal lip around the drain to prevent broken concrete, but it created a new threat for tires.
“We're looking at if we can drain to a different section of the structure and make it more friendly for cars,” says Dale.
That's what happened. A couple of weeks after 11Alive contacted GDOT, crews sealed off one section of the drain, and used concrete to create a gentle buffer.
It’s something much less likely to flatten Sarah Heurich’s day.